The New York Mets have always had great skill and or luck when it comes to developing pitching, however not so much with the left handers. Guys like Jon Niese and Steven Matz haven’t panned out the way that scouting and management would’ve liked.
Even with David Peterson looking like a good fit for the back of the rotation, how long does that last exactly? That kinda scares me, some. A nice compliment to Peterson however would be a veteran lefty like James Paxton, formerly of the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners.
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Throughout his eight year career, Paxton has pitched in 136 games, all of which were starts, and owns a 57-33 record while posting a 3.58 ERA. In 753.1 innings pitched, the lefty has struck out 829 batters. As the 32 year old celebrates his birthday today (November 6th), he really didn’t have much to celebrate during the 2020 campaign.
In 2020 he pitched to a 6.64 ERA in just five starts on the season. One positive sign is that he did strike out 26 batters in 20.1 innings pitched, so his strike out stuff is there. He had to cut his season short due to a flexor strain in his left forearm.
His 2019 wasn’t light out either, as he had a 3.82 ERA in 29 games but in 150.2 innings pitched, he struck out 186 batters. So his ERA wasn’t great, but that’s to be expected when your home ballpark is Yankee Stadium. Besides, the Ladner, Canada native owned a 15-6 record that year.
MLBTR has Paxton going to the White Sox for $10M on a one year contract, which seems about right to me. However, Cohen’s wallet and desire to win might be more than enough to persuade him as well as other current and future free agents.
So Paxton would be a great addition to the Mets rotation as he as a tremendous upside coming off of a bad year that could be due to injury. Not only would he serve as a solid lefty in the middle of the rotation, but also as a great mentor to the likes of David Peterson and even Thomas Szapucki.
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Photo by Brad Penner/USA Today Sports, via Reuters